Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 4, 1951

"Logic According To James D. Bales"

James D. Bales

The fairness in publishing my replies is deeply appreciated. Let me make some observations concerning recent replies by Cogdill to one of my articles.

I. "Logic According To James D. Bales" (Oct. 5, 1950)

(1) The fact that I have written several articles does not prove or disprove my position. Cogdill has written several also.

(2) My August 29, 1950 article in the Firm Foundation, on "Establishing an Error by an Error" was right in the principle for which it argued. Cogdill agrees that: "The method of proof is all right but his attempted use of it, if that is what he had in mind, is ridiculous." My main point in that article was not its application or misapplication to this or that situation, but the legitimacy of that type of argumentation.

(3) It has not yet been made clear to Cogdill that I was not affirming that centralized control of one congregation over other congregations should be established. It simply denied that the thing which he said was centralized control was actually centralized control. One congregation, I maintain, can help another in a work done beyond its (the one helped) community. Cogdill says that this wrong. It is all right, he says, to help it in its own community. I maintain that he drew an unscriptural line when he maintained that such help cannot go beyond the community line—wherever that is.

(4) In this article, Cogdill seems to define community as the membership of a church. He writes: "The principle is there is New Testament authority in approved example for other churches having fellowship with one church in a program of work in its own community (among its own members) and under the supervision of its own elders. Other churches contributed to the work of the Jerusalem church in relieving the need of its own members. I Cor. (16:1-2; II Cor. 8 and 9." (Italics by J.D.B.) (a) I heartily agree that one church can assist another in work among its own members. (b) If community means "among its own members," then the Music Hall meeting in Houston was not a "community" (among its own members) work, but among outsiders also; and among members of other congregations. Furthermore, individuals converted in that meeting would not have been necessarily regarded as under an obligation to meet with the Norhill church. I assume such to be the case. If I am wrong correct me. I doubt that they required, or tried to require, all converts to attend Norhill. (c) So far as I can see, here is where Cogdill and I disagree in this matter. Cogdill says that it is scriptural for one congregation to help another congregation in its program of work just so long as it limits its help to the program of work done in the community.

I am uncertain as to just what he includes in the term "community." His "Logic According to James D. Bales" article seems to define it as "its own members." Yet the same article speaks of Norhill holding the meeting in "her own city." My position is that since the program of work of a congregation can, and ought to as soon as it is able, extend beyond its own physical locality and membership; that other congregations can help them, if they see fit, in this phase of their program of work. Not being familiar with Houston I do not know whether there are other churches which are closer to the Music Hall than Norhill.

Cogdill thinks that they can help them do a work in their own community but not beyond their own community. I think Cogdill has drawn up a law, where God has not, in saying that such aid cannot be spent beyond the community.

It would be very helpful if Cogdill will give us the scriptural definition of a community. This should include just what people it is composed of (whether simply of the membership of a local congregation, or outsiders also); just how much physical territory it covers; and just how far away from an elder's home or a church building, or a member's home, a congregation can spend money on its program of work before it becomes unscriptural for others to help them in this "community" program.

(5) I did not realize that "We" (I suppose this means the Gospel Guardian) had invited brother Bales to have a written discussion with brother James Adams on my differences with some who write for the Gospel Guardian. Brother J. L. Hines wrote and asked me if I would do so, but I did not realize that- that was an invitation from the Gospel Guardian. Any connection between Hines and the Guardian was unknown to me. As I recall he did ask if I would conduct such a discussion in the Guardian with Adams, and I thought that he would try to make such arrangements with the Guardian. I did not know that Hines was inviting me on their behalf. I first thought that I would say "Yes" to Hines, but when I found that the Guardian would publish my replies to Cogdill and Tant, I thought that it would be a useless drain on my time, since Cogdill and I were already discussing the principles for which I contend. I still think so. And if Cogdill will give me a complete definition of what he means by community there can be another round in our debate. Cogdill and I have been debating as to whether or not it is scriptural for one congregation to help another congregation do a work beyond its own community. As a formal proposition our discussion could be worded: Resolved that it is scriptural for one congregation, when it so desires and is invited, to assist another congregation in its total program of work. This I have been affirming; this Cogdill has been denying. He maintains that it can be assisted in only its local program of work.

(6) I was not aware of any dishonesty on my part with reference to Lufkin and Rusk. I had thought that my reply took into consideration what Cogdill had said about the situation. I certainly don't want to be dishonest for dishonesty can send one to hell. Perhaps Cogdill should read the article on whether an opponent can be sincere, which appeared in the Guardian some months ago.

(7) "A Strange Syllogism." On this we plan to comment later.


Richard Donley, 206 Gale Ave., Peoria, "One baptized in the meeting in Sioux City. Arthur Francis is getting off to a good start in his work here. The church here is still making good progress. There were 188 present for worship yesterday A. M. Two of our local men preached, while I was in Sioux City. One of the preachers is a native of the North who has been baptized since I came to Peoria,"